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Holiday Tip: The Western Algarve

Last updated: March 2021 | Guest post by: Alma Grabner

 

Whether you are a new or returning Portugal visitor, there is one place you must experience: The southwestern Algarve.

The 50 km from Lagos to Sagres, up to Odeceixe, allow you to experience two opposing worlds in one. One, a lively popular tourist destination, the other a crowd-free landscape of pure nature.

Algarve Portugal coast

Where to stay

Lagos, the picturesque small city is known for its historical town centre and sandstone cliffs. Here is where you enjoy the chill-out vacation in a private holiday home with your family and friends. What makes this town stand out from the rest, are its numerous sandy beaches and clear waters. Each day the chance to pick your favourite. With endless activities, Lagos is the ideal place for a family holiday. Parents can relax and children will never go bored.

Head west and the adventure begins. The calm sea becomes wilder and the masses of people disappear. The west coast, as if it was designed for the nature-loving traveller. The best places to look for accommodation would be around Salema, Sagres and Aljezur.

Anything beyond Lagos, hotel resorts become almost non-existent. This does not mean that there is nowhere to stay. To match the quiet west, you will have no issue finding your dream holiday home. Typical for the Algarve, a bungalow-style house with a private garden and pool. No fighting over sunbeds and screaming children by the pool.

 Due to its location near a protected natural reserve, the eco-tourism alternative has risen in popularity too.

Algarve Portugal coast

Transport

When planning your trip, a rental car is recommended. The further west, the more untouched and rural the Algarve becomes. Public transport may be scarce in certain regions. Nevertheless, this is what makes this place unique.

Along the N126 and N268, kilometres of nothing but a few small towns and villages, eventually approaching the natural reserve, Costa Vicentina. Ultimate stillness. The only sound you hear is the choppy sea and a steady breeze whispering through the leaves.
 

Things to do

Whether you plan a day trip or a long stay, there are west coast non-negotiables you must experience:

  • For a challenge and great laugh, a surf lesson. You can book these from any surf school in the area and pick between private or group lessons. Wetsuit, boards and teacher are included. Many offer transport too. The journey itself is an adventure. You get to meet your instructor and other fellow students. The perfect opportunity for those who enjoy making holiday friends from all over the world.

Algarve Portugal Surfers

  • A long hike or bike ride along the paths of the Costa Vicentina. The breath-taking views are ones you will never forget. The cooler coastal temperatures make outdoor activities truly pleasant, compared to the sweaty high temperatures of the rest of the Algarve. Don’t forget your packed lunch and plenty of water. Placed along the paths and sheltered by trees, you will find the ideal picnic tables.
     
  • After a day filled with adventures and activities, refuel with the freshest seafood the coast has to offer. For those who prefer to pass on the seafood, the scrumptious meat dishes will satisfy any hunger. Vegetarians, don’t you worry, there are plenty of mouth-watering cuisines for you. The most flavoursome stone oven baked pizzas amongst one of them. Whichever you pick, do this before sunset.
     
  • Jump in your car and chase the sun to the end of the world, the Farol de Cabo de São Vicente. You find yourself at the most southwestern end of Europe, on the majestic cliffs with the waves crashing beneath you. Without a doubt, you will witness the most romantic sunset of your life (tip: bring something warm to wear!).
     

The beauty of this area: you don’t have to pick either or. You can have the sunbathing and the adventurous holiday, within the shortest distance apart.

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About

Hi there! 

We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest. 

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